Archive for February, 2012

UFC 144 Fight card Analysis Part 1

by Jonathan M. King

Yoshihiro Akiyama versus Jake Shields

Jake Shields is looking to break out of the fighting and life doldrums. Following his title loss to St. Pierre, Shields lost his father and manager Jack suddenly at the age of 67. Jack Shields was a great mentor and friend to several of the Cesar Gracie fighters, and his loss is still being felt. After the death of his father, Shields then saw his contenders position smashed away by Jake Ellenberger knees. In just 53 seconds, Shields for the first time lost consecutive fights. He will be looking to rebound against Yoshihiro Akiyama who is coming down in weight, following his 3 consecutive losses at the 185 lbs weight class. Although on the later end of his career “SexyYama” is still a dangerous striker. Prediction: Shields submission rd 1

Yushin Okami versus Tim Boetsch

Yushin Okami posesses that rare combination of pedigree, performance, and longevity in MMA, he earned his ass whooping at the hand of Ander son Silva. Tim Boetsch has been grinding out wins, by his whole career. Grappling himself either into a decision win, or submission victory in 5 of his last 6 wins. In his last 16 fights Yushin Okami has lost to Jake Shields, Anderson Silva, and Chael Sonnen, and Rich Franklin; with the Silva fight being the only one that ended early. With his history of fighting on big stages, Prediction: Okami via Decision

Hatsu Hioki versus Bart Palaszewski

After winning in his octagon debut against George Roop, Hatsu Hioki is looking to continue his rise to the top of the division. This time Hioki will stand toe to toe with Bart Palazewski. Palazewski is coming off an impressive octagon debut of his own, seeing him knock out UFC vet Tyson Griffin in 2:45. This bought is another classic showdown between striker and submission fighter, however the submission fighter (Hioki) has never been knocked out! Prediction: Hioki via submission rd 2

Anthony Pettis versus Joe Lauzon

First of all, this is my prediction for fight of the night. With 21 wins in his MMA career, Joe Lauzon seems to always be the underdog. His last fight against Melvin Guillard was meant to be a launching point for Guillard’s title shot. However, 47 seconds into round 1, Lauzon dropped and choked out those fiery title hopes. Anthony Pettis has fought and beat just about everyone he has been in front of, including the man challenging for the division title, Benson Henderson. Prediction: Pettis via decision



UFC 142 was supposed to create clarity, with regards to the welterweight division. Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit were set to fight for the Interim Welterweight Title, with the winner set to unify the belt when George St.Pierre returned from knee surgery.

Now, The fight is over, Carlos Condit is the Interim Title holder, Nick Diaz says he is retiring, and George St.Pierre re injured his knee during the fight decision(jumping out of his seat)!

The fight was extremelly close throughout. For the better part of 5 rounds Nick Diaz stalked and backed down the leg-kicking Condit. Nick Diaz secured the only take-down, late in the final frame, as he struggled to sink in a submission before time expired. Once again, the  fighters left the fights decision to the judges, and once again the judges failed to perform.

The fact that Condit won, is not the issue. In a fight as close as that was, anyone can be on the wrong side of a one point decision.The issue was two judges seeing the fight as 49-47 for a fighter who spent the entire night backpedaling. Oscar de la Hoya lost a controversial decision because he was perceived to be running, to secure his lead on points. Condit was doing the exact same thing, sometimes even running as he backed against the cage. Apparently those judges were not involved with overseeing this fight.

It has become commonplace to hear Dana White speak of the perils of leaving the fight to the judges. However in the professional fight world, that is unacceptable as a solution. The judging, and the refereeing has been extremely inconsistent. Last nights fights magnify this point.  The Diaz v Condit fight was just the latest example of judges who mystified most spectators.

The UFC is not in control of the officiating, or the judging. These are issues that are under the Athletic Commissions umbrella. However, with all the money the UFC is putting into these commissions pockets, you would think there complaints might carry some weight. There will always be room for mistakes, and no judge or referee is perfect, but there is ways to fix the problems.

Interviewed by: Jonathan M. King

When you are on top, everyone tries to knock you down. The strap around your waist carries with it a target on your back. Trash talking, and subtle verbal jabs are ways for some fighters to get recognition. Miesha “Take-Down” Tate would rather just keep winning.  Recently Tate discussed her MMA career path, and future in this sport with The Clinch Report.

Originally from Tacoma Washinton, Tate began her path to MMA as a wrestler! Soon after winning national trials for submission wrestling,, Tate joined an MMA club run by fellow fighter star Bryan Caraway. Not only is Caraway Tate’s trainer, and inpiration, he is also her boyfriend.  Tate is quick to make sure Caraway gets the credit for her fighting pedigree. “Bryan Caraway has literally coached me to my world title, he’s my rock! ” Tate said.  “I see myself as a  female version of him(Caraway)” Tate said. “He’s very talented so I say it with pride!”

Currently the holder of the Strikeforce’s Bantamweight Title, Tate is also considered the #2 pound-for-pound Female fighter in the world. With her rise through the ranks, the competition has been getting tougher. Recently Tate signed to defend her belt against Ronda Rousey, who has also climbed the ranks very quickly. Once this fight was signed, the hype machine began. Twitter wars ensued, debating superficial topics that had little or nothing to do with fighting. As far as Tate is concerned, the fight is all that matters, and it is not a joking matter.. “Well for her it might be all fun and games but for me I take this sport a little more seriously!” Tate said. ” I think she will too after she’s done eating my homemade elbow macaroni!”

In the past, the wrestling based Tate “usually only used (striking) to set up a takedown, not necessarily to knock someone out.” This fight could be different though, as Tate reflects, “but that may change this fight!” Working with Team Yakima MMA primarily, Tate has impressed her handlers with her improved striking ability. With each fight her skills improve, and Tate is the type of fighter who likes to stay busy. Once she defeats Rousey and defends her belt, Tate would like to avenge her loss to Sarah Kaufman (who some feel deserved the shot at Tate more than Rousey did!). “Sarah Kaufman is next on my radar! I lost a close fight to her a few years back and now I have the belt that she once had, my goal is to avenge my loss to her!” Tate said. However, Tate realizes she has work to do first. “First things first I have to defend my belt against Ronda Rousey March 3rd!”

Miesha Tate’s rise to the Championship is not a surprise. The way Tate approcahes her training is similar to those of her role models.  Besides her training Guru  Caraway Tate also looks up to other fighters as well.  “Georges St. Pierre stays calm and respectful I admire that. I also like Jake Ellenburger stylistically and as a person too!” Tate said. Although she looks up to sevral fighters, Tate would “love the opportunity to train w GSP because I look up to him especially, he follows his gameplans to a T.”

On March 3rd, Tate will defend her title against Ronda Rousey, as the headline fight. As a MMA enthusiast, and part time practitioner, I am finally excited for the Woman’s division. Its almost time, to refer to them as simply “fighters”, not “Woman fighters”. With the skills that Miesha Tate, Sarah Kaufman, Megumi Fujii, Ronda Rousey, and maybe the return of Gina Carrano, there is no shortage of exciting talent. Hopefully, these wonderful fighters inspire more woman to join the ranks of MMA. One thing is certain, all MMA fans (And the UFC brass) need to take notice, these ladies are GOOD, and they belong here!